Saturday, June 27, 2015

Reflections of a Year

Today marks one year of being in Ventura.  I am wearing the same dress in this picture as when we arrived.  We may be a little heavier and my hair a little longer.  I was going to say, but we're the same.  I don't think so.  We are learning and growing.  I'm excited to see who we are in two more years.  The Lord is in the details and we feel His love and guidance.  We've definitely learned that we must trust in the Lord.
We arrived on a Friday and Saturday we went to a baptism in Thousand Oaks.  We will never forget that experience and the tender mercy that happened by meeting one of the missionaries.  Later that night her father called telling President that the grandmother had passed away.  A phone call was made to the missionary regarding the news.  We were so grateful she had met us first before receiving that phone call.  
Today, Saturday, we were able to attend two baptisms.  Unlike a year ago when we forgot our name tags, we didn't forget them today.  Two wonderful baptisms.  Daniel has been investigating for about a year.  President Moffat, 1st counselor in the mission presidency, baptized him.  There had been about 6 different sets of sister missionaries who taught him.  All but one sister was in attendance as she had returned back to Utah.  A picture of him with them all was fun to see.
Jonathan was baptized two hours later.  He's 25, a surgeon, and from China.  We met him after he had not even been in California a week when we were hiking to find a suitable hike for the zone activity.  He had already attended church and had been taught a lesson from the missionaries.  He is here for an internship and living with members.  He was so prepared.  There are no coincidences. 
 Reflections on the past year:
We have been asked what surprised us the most since being here.  Dealing with missionaries having emotional issues.  The first couple of weeks two hermanas went home.
The hardest -- sending missionaries home.
The best -- being around the missionaries.  For the most part they are amazing.  These are strong young adults with great testimonies and a desire to serve the Lord in His hastening the work.
Oh, there have been times we'd say "What were they thinking?" Realizing they are young.
I wonder if it will get easier to say good bye as they leave to return home.  Probably not, as we love them and know that we will miss each one.
If I were to live it over again, I would prefer the second 6 months rather than the first.  It's a process trying to figure it out.  
The missionaries make us feel loved.  We are so grateful for their love and respect.

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